Vision & Mission
Numerous currently incurable human diseases arise from the loss or malfunction of highly specialized cell types that lack the capacity to regenerate due to disease, trauma or aging. Human embryonic stem cells (hESC) uniquely possess the ability to self-renew (and therefore can function as an unlimited cell factory) and the potential of becoming ALL cell types of the body, thereby offering unprecedented new hope; most recently, direct reprogramming of adult skin cells to become pluripotent ES-like cells (a.k.a. induced pluripotent stem cells or iPSCs) has been achieved, freeing potential ethical concerns and making ES/iPS cell-based therapies another step closer to reality.
The Dr Li Dak-Sum Research Centre, the University of Hong Kong – Karolinska Institutet Collaboration in Regenerative Medicine has the following long-term visions:
- To prolong the human life span and to improve the quality of life via successful hESC/iPSC-related research;
- To provide a collegial and intellectually stimulating environment for a comprehensive and multi-disciplinary stem cell and regenerative medicine field;
- To make significant, long half-life fundamental discoveries of high academic and scientific value in the hESC/iPSC field;
- To develop novel therapeutic approaches that can directly benefit patients and the economy of HK SAR via translational research;
- To foster the field by offering excellent training opportunities and education to nurture the next-generation scientists, clinicians and academicians.
Our mission is to establish an internationally renowned, highly-specialized academic program in regenerative medicine that functions as a stem cell hub for attracting regional and foreign talents, and to serve as a bridge between China and Western countries. We are devoted to supporting and promoting collaborations between basic, translational and clinical faculty specialized in a range of different diseases related to different disciplines. A goal is to enable researchers from HKU and elsewhere to most effectively translate basic scientific discovery into practicable clinical applications.